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Discussion Starter #1
Everyone enjoying the warmer weather?

We're getting some open water on the smaller ponds. Larger ponds and ponds shaded by trees are still frozen. My favorite swim by pond is open and has tundra swans on it, resting before they finish flying north. I have to wait for the tundra swans to leave before we can get back to swim by training. Besides those swans are so huge no dog would want to mess with one. De cheating will be on our list of things to do probably every day now if possible. Riot somehow learned to cheat over the winter when he wasn't able to swim. It's a problem we didn't have last fall. Growing up now, he's 18 months old.

Last 2 weekends the training groups have been larger now that it's warmer. Lots of people train little or not at all in the winter, if they don't send their dogs to the states for the winter. I did not take that approach. We've been running singles one day, then triples the next. Blinds running past marks. Lots of suction for poor Riot. He's doing well, but he's inexperienced like me. The ground is getting soft enough we can start putting up holding blinds.

Last night we went to a local pond. Ran wagon wheel drill. Had the right hand bumper 5' into the pond. Riot was pretty excited but still had no problem going to the bumper I cast him or lined him. At the end I let him pick up the bumpers in the water. The water was icy cold but he was all about it! His T work is nicer. I am finally able to sit him after he picks up a bumper on an over pile, then cast him to the other over pile and stop him in the center. I forgot the name for that training. Anyway, he's doing what I'm asking of him, which is nice. I think if we get through some water work now, he could easily run senior in June. I'm hoping we can get him in master by August, but who knows. That suction issue on blinds is a big one to get past for a high roller.

We also practiced heeling off lead past mallards in the pond at the water's edge. Riot really wanted those ducks! But he minded well. Friday is an outdoor obedience mock trial. We might go and see how he does outdoors. I'd like to get his novice title.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I think Riot is ready for green grass and warm water to swim in. And no that isn't a real swan, it's a decoy, the tundra swans have already migrated farther north. Picnic test this weekend. Crossing my fingers that we hit 60 degrees!
 

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aka Shelby
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Gosh Stacey your grounds look like our grounds in January!! Riot sure looks overjoyed and free! I love it!

Its getting super hot here. Lots of water work but grounds are becoming overgrown with the heat and rain we've had. Working on drills a lot and blinds as well. Proof's gearing up for summer camp and I'm excited to say Ill be going up and training as well. I have never been to that part of the country. Dog stuff is neat, its got me traveling all over the country and seeing new things. Meeting new people. I love it!
 

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We had a really good training day today. We traveled 80+ miles to train. No-no drills, uphill marks, water marks with angle entries and angle over a point (neither dog squared any shoreline), water blinds.

AND the weather was beautiful. I deserved it, I worked a field trial Friday to Sunday (shooting) with Saturday being a soaker with me working a dead bird station in one foot of water at the end of the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First hunt test of the season NAHRA Sunday hunter level test. Double on land, double on water, trailing test. Land distances 75 yards, water distances 50 yards, trailing 50 yards. This will hopefully be easy peasy for Riot. It's the same grounds that the first 2 derbies of the season will be held at in 2 weeks. The grounds are all private, so this will be my only opportunity to check the grounds out before those derbies.

We've been working hard on water de-cheating. Riot is getting better. But we'll see how he does in the heat of the moment of a derby when he has to make decisions at the line without the benefit of an ecollar to help him make choices. I've seen many good dogs cheat up here at a derby that the owners thought were properly de-cheated. So far the entries for the derbies are quite small, I'm crossing my fingers that we will have 10 dogs.

One dog I watched run derbies last summer, a chessie, the owner also entered him in junior hunt tests all summer. The owner told me that any time that he can take a dog to the line for experience, the better off the dog will be. This year that young chessie is aged out of derbies, but now running qualifying field trials. It will be interesting to see how he does. Chessies mature very late.

This summer I'm judging 2 AKC junior tests. I'll also be apprenticing for spaniel hunt test judging. Our club has you apprentice for junior, senior, and master the same day. I've only got senior passes, so I'll need to get some master passes before I can judge master. To judge spaniel tests you have to apprentice each level 2 times, not a bad idea.
 

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aka Shelby
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Man you guys sure knock it all out when you have the opportunity. Glad you even have clubs up there, dang!

Been working a ton on blinds and I'm so glad to say I personally have had a break through moment a couple days ago on running blinds. I've been banging my head on the wall in my own handling and suddenly things clicked. Proof seems to be looking out at blinds now and seeing the concept himself and just doing them. its not all concepts for sure but a lot of the ones we are focusing on. its nice and I hope it lasts but with dogs you just got to keep training all the time. you know how that goes! Probably going to work on pattern blinds for drill this weekend. Probably this morning before it gets too hot. Its already low 90s with a lot of humidity. Can't train the dogs much after 11 right now. just too hot for them. Its going to be a very hot summer but maybe we'll have an early fall then!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Been working a ton on blinds and I'm so glad to say I personally have had a break through moment a couple days ago on running blinds.
How is Proof doing on keyholes? Riot is so frigging fast I have no idea what the heck to do about getting him sat before he's way past where he needs to be. These red rocket ships are sure a lot of fun to watch aren't they?

MOP, we had fresh snow on the hills around town a couple of times this week. The snow line was down to 1,000 ft elevation. Ugh, sometimes summer never comes to Alaska...
 

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He seems to do okay with keyholes. He usually doesn't avoid them or anything. Sometimes he runs right between them and sometimes he turns at the last minute and that is where Im sweating waiting and trying to be quick! I think with fast dogs its really important on that whistle. A lot of times, I am not quick enough. But I am better than I used to be and that is all that matters I suppose.
 

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Learning to be quicker on the whistle has been my biggest challenge, especially after training Molly. I'd let Molly roll and maybe correct herself but Maisey doesn't just "roll". Her little body is just built for speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think the one whistle that most dogs seem to hate is that one you blow on a mark when you know they need help. I heard from a friend that he was entered in an Open with over 100 dogs. So the set ups were really hard. It was a quad and the 3rd mark was 450 yards. He had to blow the whistle and handle on that 3rd mark. His dog did stop and he was able to handle him to the mark. I can't imagine that kind of control to get a dog to stop at 450 yards and handle to a mark. That is so far away...
 

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Last week Maisey was blinking on bumpers, BIG time. After all she had only seen birds on marks the three months she spent in LA. I handled her back to the first one nicely but the ones after that were battles. It was like she figured out I was handling her to a bumper. We had gunner help too, but she didn't give a crap about the gunner! She was on the search for a bird. I've handled her in marks before with no issues, but wow this was a challenge (that she was not allowed to win).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Maybe a revisit to FF? Just a couple of sessions maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I spent some time this winter on FF with brushes and handles and hammers, etc. Just trying to make sure we didn't have any holes. Most items he wouldn't pick up initially. That told me I was on the right track. Now if I could just get him to leave all the shoes where they are and not carry them around!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have the reverse problem. Riot never sees birds. And I got in the habit of only using certain types of bumpers. So little bugger decided he was only picking up certain kinds of bumpers. So we went back to FF with all kinds of odd things. I used brushes, hammers, metal handle items, anything I could think of that was different for FF. It's took a little convincing that he had to hold anything I gave him. I regret not doing this during the original FF. So we did 4 or 5 sessions of odd items.

We had a little problem on old birds at a picnic test. Now with being told to fetch it up, when it came to old nasty birds, I'm going to go back to walking fetch to make sure we're on the same page. Doesn't matter what it is, he has to pick it up. I have some fresh pigeons in the freezer I'll use for a reward at the end. But I think we'll be doing a few session of walking fetch, mixing bumpers and birds and odd things to make sure we have compliance.

For the last couple of weeks I was so focused on de cheating on water, I forgot about everything else.
 

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Just thought I would say something about the heat. Even when it seems cooler with a breeze, 70's, can't do much with the dogs. We trained just a little yesterday but they did not take it well. Hoping to get some water work at some point.
 
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